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Vegan Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes

These Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes are the best vegan holiday dessert. They’re topped with vegan chocolate frosting sweetened with dates!

These fluffy, oil-free Vegan Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes are the ultimate holiday dessert. They're topped with a naturally sweet chocolate date frosting!

Vegan Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes

Fun fact: I used to hate chocolate cake. And mint-flavored things. An yet here we are – talking about chocolate peppermint cupcakes. How did I get here?

Not liking chocolate cake is like not liking puppies. But, there I was, always reaching for the slice of vanilla cake and wiping away any remnant of chocolate frosting. Oh, and don’t even mention Thin Mint cookies. No thank you, I’ll stick with the plain vanilla shortbread cookie.

But alas, people change, and I’ve come to the dark side – the dark chocolate side (see what I did there). Not only have I gotten on board with chocolate cake, but these chocolate peppermint cupcakes officially have me feeling MAJORLY confused because they’re two flavors I’ve always disliked together and yet… I like them? No… I LOVE them.

I don’t know who I am anymore honestly. All I do know, is that you HAVE to try these chocolate peppermint cupcakes. They’re decadent, fluffy, and oh so sweet. Oh and did I mention they’re vegan?

(P.S. – Vanilla, you’re still my favorite)

a plate of chocolate peppermint cupcakes in silver foil liners

Ingredients for Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes

These vegan chocolate cupcakes so fluffy and tender thanks to my favorite flours from Bob’s Red Mill. I’ve never met a Bob’s Red Mill flour I don’t like.

I used the Organic Unbleached White All-Purpose Flour; it’s so versatile and can be used in all of your holiday baking adventures. You can also use the Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour for a gluten-free option. Plus, you can get a coupon for any Bob’s Red Mill product!

Here’s everything you’re gonna need to make these delicious vegan chocolate cupcakes:

  • Non-dairy milk. Any kind will work, but I recommend an unsweetened variety.
  • Apple cider vinegar. We’re using this to make a vegan buttermilk. Adding acidity will balance the sweetness in these vegan chocolate cupcakes.
  • Bob’s Red Mills Organic Unbleached All Purpose White Flour. The Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour would also work.
  • Oat flour. You can make your own by grinding oats in a blender or food processor.
  • Cocoa powder. For that rich, chocolatey goodness.
  • Baking soda. Just a teaspoon will make these vegan chocolate cupcakes super fluffy.
  • Salt. We always want to add a bit of salt to sweet treats to balance them out.
  • Coconut sugar. I love the flavor and texture of coconut sugar, but you could also use white sugar.
  • Nut butter. I promise you won’t taste the nut butter in the cupcakes! It just adds moisture and acts as a binder. I recommend almond or cashew butter. A sunflower seed butter if you have a nut allergy.
  • Applesauce. You’ll want unsweetened.
  • Peppermint. You could leave this out to make plain vegan chocolate cupcakes, but the peppermint is delicious for a vegan holiday dessert!
  • Vanilla extract. Just a touch will warm up all the flavors.
  • Dates. We’re making a vegan chocolate frosting using dates to add rich, decadent sweetness!

an overhead shot of a plate of chocolate peppermint cupcakes

How to Make Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes

As these were baking – and filling my apartment up with the beautiful aroma of warm chocolate cake – I couldn’t help but laugh at the fact that I was baking cupcakes made out of the two foods I used to despise.But change is a good thing! If it weren’t for change, these deliciously fluffy chocolate peppermint cupcakes would have never been born.

Start by preheating your oven to 350F and prepping your muffin tin. In a bowl, mix together your plant-based milk and vinegar and set it to the side. In a separate bowl, mix together your AP flour, oat flower, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. After your milk and vinegar mixture has had a chance to sit for about 5 minutes or so, mix in your coconut sugar, nut butter, applesauce, peppermint and vanilla extracts until well combined.

Next, mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix it up until everything has just come together. Be careful not to over-mix as this will lead to a dense vegan cupcake, which we obviously don’t want! Pour the batter into your lined muffin tin and bake for about 20 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.

Once the cupcakes are done, pull them out of the oven and let them cool completely before topping them with your vegan chocolate frosting!

a bag of all purpose flour behind a plate of chocolate cupcakes

The Best Vegan Chocolate Frosting

No cupcake is complete without frosting! So we’re making a pretty dang good vegan chocolate frosting to go on top of these chocolate peppermint cupcakes. What’s even better? We’re making this frosting with dates! Yes, dates!

While your cupcakes are baking away in the oven, soak some dates in hot water for about 10 minutes or until they start to soften and plump up. Then, strain the water from the dates and add them to a blender with cocoa powder, peppermint and vanilla extracts. Start to blend the mixture and add some milk bit by bit until it’s at a consistency ya like!

Make sure you wait until your chocolate peppermint cupcakes have cooled completely before topping them with your frosting!

a plate of vegan chocolate cupcakes topped with peppermint crumbles

More Vegan Holiday Dessert Recipes

I can’t wait for the holidays to be here so I can finally relax and spend time with my family – and with these chocolate peppermint cupcakes, of course. My family is already begging me to come home to make them a batch of these. I swear they only love me because I cook for them…

If you get to bake these chocolate peppermint cupcakes, let me know in the comments. And if you’re craving more delicious treats, check out these vegan holiday dessert ideas!

a plate of chocolate peppermint cupcakes topped with peppermints

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How to make:

Vegan Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes

These fluffy, oil-free Vegan Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes are the ultimate holiday dessert. They’re topped with a naturally sweet chocolate date frosting!

Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
35 mins
a chocolate cupcake with a bite taken out of it
Author:
Emilie
Yield:
12 1x

Ingredients

For the cupcakes:

  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons non-dairy milk
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup Bob’s Red Mills Organic Unbleached All Purpose White Flour or Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour
  • 1/4 cup oat flour*
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup almond or cashew butter**
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 teaspoons peppermint extract, divided
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, divided

For the Frosting:

  • 1 1/2 cups pitted dates, covered in hot water
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 12 tablespoons non-dairy milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, add milk and vinegar; stir. Set aside for 5-10 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, add flour, oat flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir to combine.
  4. In the bowl with the milk mixture, add coconut sugar, almond butter, applesauce, peppermint extract, and vanilla. Whisk to combine.
  5. Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Stir to combine until ingredients are just mixed together; do not over-mix.
  6. Fill each cup with batter, a little over 2/3 of the way full.
  7. Bake for 20-22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Remove cupcakes; let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing.
  8. While the cupcakes are baking, prepare the frosting. Drain dates; add to a food processor or blender with cocoa powder, peppermint extract, and vanilla extract. Process until smooth, adding a tablespoon at a time of milk if needed.
  9. Spoon frosting onto each cupcake. Sprinkle with crushed peppermints and serve!

Notes

*To make your own oat flour, simply blend rolled oats in a food processor or blender until a fine flour forms.
**For a nut-free option, use sunflower seed butter.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.